Allotment records started in the early 1800s with some of the treaties. Lands were allotted to certain persons under the provisions of the treaty. In 1887 the General Allotment Act was passed and tribes gradually had their lands surveyed and divided up into parcels for each member. We do not have all the allotment records here in DC. Many are at our regional branches. Some tribes were not included in the general allotment act, and we do not have those records here, including a lot of tribes in Oklahoma such as the 5 Civilized Tribes, Osage, Sac and Fox, Miami and Peoria, and the Seneca of New York as well as Alaska natives, and a strip of land in Nebraska adjoining the Sioux Nation in the south. Most of those will be at the Regional branch in Fort Worth. Allottment records for the Five Civilized Tribes have been digitized and are accessible on Ancestry.com

 

The records we have are mostly for the western tribes, and consist of lists of people eligible for allotments, applications for allotments, allotment surveys, correspondence back and forth between the BIA and the GLO about the process, surveys of plats, trust patents, and inheritance records when an allotment owner died. The allotment policy ended in 1934 with the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act. This is a finding aid for records we have here in DC. There are still some land allotment records that remain in the custody of the BIA and the GLO.

 

The records are accessible by tribe, for the most part.    Record Groups to search:

RG 75 Bureau of Indian Affairs

RG 49, General Land Office/Bureau of Land Management

RG 217, Accounting Offices of the Treasury.

 

Search path:

First check the list of allotment volumes in RG 75 Entry 343, see box list. Find the tribe and request those volumes or loose papers.

 

Next check the files in the Central Classified Files of BIA Entry 121, under 313.1, for allotments.  Decide which agency, request the files for that agency and the 313.1 classification number. These will usually be records relating to inheritance where the legitimate relatives have to be identified. You can also find in the CCF under the classification number 312, the records relating to the request for a trust patent to be turned into a fee patent that could be sold to anyone.

 

Third, check all the separate series of allotments listed in RG 75, and, Entry 102, Special Case 147 (see list of tribes under Special Case 147.) This will have some correspondence related to the process. Use PI 163 or the Guide to search by tribe name for separate series in RG 75. 

 

Fourth, check the land entry case files under each land office in RG 49, by state (see PI 22). These are primarily for lands outside of reservations, in the public domain.  Check in the lists of types of land entry case files in PI 22, under each state. Indian Trust Patents issued in the 20th century for lands outside of reservations may be found in the Serial Patent files. Get the serial patent file number from the BLM site. These may contain an allotment application. You can also find these records for Minnesota accessible online on Ancestry.com. There are a few other things listed in RG 49, to wit:

RG 49, UD 698V  Schedule Of Allotment Selections, Turtle Mountain Indians, 1906-14

RG 49, UD 698O  Records Documenting Jicarilla Allotments And Relinquishments, 1909-50

RG 49, UD 698U {Local Land Office Abstracts Of Chippewa And Stockbridge And Munsee Indian Allotments  In Wisconsin, 1871-95}

 

Fifth, check the allotment rolls in RG 217 (Entries 681-684). Look at the PI index.